Making sense of the Machiavellian moves within the House of Saud is well above my pay grade, and for now details remain scant, but King Salman appears to be consolidating his power as dozens of princes and former (and current) ministers have either arrested, detained, or are under investigation for `corruption'.
Before the emergence of a novel coronavirus on the Arabian peninsula in 2012, all of this would have had little direct impact on global health, but the virus continues to simmer in KSA (see Study: A Pandemic Risk Assessment Of MERS-CoV In Saudi Arabia), and apparently some of the corruption allegations involve the handling of MERS-CoV.Reportedly caught up in all of this is Dr. Adel bin Mohammed Faqih, who replaced long-standing Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah in April of 2013, only to be replaced by Dr. Muhammad Bin Ali Al-Hayazie 8 monghs later. Faqih was subsequently named Minister of Economy and Planning.
Since then the position of Health Minister has been a revolving door (7 in 4 years), with the current MOH Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan bin Muhammad Al-Rabiah appointed in May of 2016.While few names have been named, the size of this corruption probe appears to be growing, with a report today from Saudi broadcaster Al-Arabiya suggesting 4 current Ministers, and `10s' of former Ministers are under investigation.
Princes and former ministers detained in Saudi Arabia corruption probe
Staff writer, Al Arabiya EnglishEleven princes, four sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening according to sources.
Meanwhile the MOH today is reporting 2 new primary (no known exposure) MERS cases in the capital Riyadh, making 3 primary cases reported there in the past 4 days.